Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Today's News-Tuesday, January 22nd

A Shenandoah Heights man was busted for various drug counts in a raid yesterday. Keith Barlow, age 24, was picked up at his home after police and agents from the DA's office executed a warrant at his Florida Avenue home before 5pm. Authorities seized marijuana, cocaine, other drug paraphernalia and the means to grow pot in a hydroponic garden in the apartment. Police also retrieved a stolen gun. The Republican and Herald says that a 17 year old girl was at the residence at the time of the raid. Charges are pending against her, but she was released to the custody of her mother.

The field for the GOP nomination in the 125th Legislative District widened yesterday. Former County Controller Gary Hornberger announced his candidacy for the nomination on WPPA and T102 yesterday morning. He states that he is running without the blessing or support of the county party. Former county Republican Party chairman Dan Daub of Tower City announced that he is also running for the Republican nomination in April. At a meeting of the Schuylkill County Teenage Republicans last night, candidates made their pitch for support from the group. County Recorder of Deeds Matt Dudish is also contemplating a run for the seat, currently held by first termer Tim Seip. He announced his re-election bid over the weekend. The Republican and Herald reports that newly re-elected county Prothonotary PJ Symons is contemplating a run against long-time state Senator Jim Rhoades. Rhoades has not yet announced his re-election bid. A former Pennsylvania State Trooper, Toni Gilhooley, is running as a Republican against US Congressman Tim Holden. Gillhooley got the Teenage Republicans backing at the gathering at Maroons Sports Bar and Grill.

State Police are investigating a fatal crash this morning here in the county that claimed the life of a Denver, Pennsylvania man. The crash happened just before four this morning on Tremont Road that's Route 125 in Tremont Township. Police say 21-year-old Joshua Manley was driving south on Route 125, apparently speeding when the car went off the roadway, hitting a guide-wire post and then slamming into a large tree. Manley was pronounced dead at the scene by Deputy Coroner Diane Zimmerman. Manley’s passenger, Sean McFadden of Terre Hill was flown to Geisinger Medical Center for treatment. Police say that the two were not wearing their seatbelts.

The police chief in the borough of Lykens is out of a job. The borough council terminated Chris Wade as its top cop, following a suspension relating to accusations that he took money seized in drug busts, and failed to divulge a prior arrest when he was hired. The Patriot News of Harrisburg reports that Dauphin County authorities charged Wade with taking the money after a search of his home uncovered some of the cash.
Wade worked for Lykens borough police since 2005.

Police in Sunbury, Northumberland County spent part of the day Monday afternoon looking for a murder weapon. The Daily Item reports several police officers along with volunteer fire fighters spent several hours in the blistering cold looking for the weapon used in Friday's deadly slayings of a man and woman in Sunbury. It's believed 39-year-old Michael Harrell used a sawed off .30 caliber rifle in the shootings of 25-year-old David Moore and 24-year-old Crystal Scholl-Gordon at an apartment in the 200 block of North Fourth Street. Harrell remains in custody, however he has not been officially charged with the murders.
There's no word if the murder weapon was found.

A Schuylkill County rehab center has earned another three-year accreditation. Schuylkill Rehabilitation Center announced that it has received another three-year accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. Currently, there are about 130 outpatient medical rehabilitation centers throughout the United States. Schuylkill Rehabilitation Center is accredited in both single service and multiple disciplinary out patient therapy services. Pennsylvania has only 3 multi and 11 single service therapy CARF accredited programs in the state. CARF establishes national and international standards of excellence in rehabilitation of which the facility strives to achieve.

Rendell budget counts on economic growth; doomsday discounted
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Gov. Ed Rendell is predicting his toughest budget season since his first year in office.
He's still counting on economic growth in the coming year, but with the economy in a tailspin, he expects growth at a slower pace than the previous three years. Rendell isn't ready to pull any austerity measures out of his toolbox. Budgetmakers and economists say it's just too early to know whether Pennsylvania's financial situation will turn dire.

Former congressman to run for state House
LEVITTOWN, Pa. (AP) - A former suburban Philadelphia congressman who lost his seat to an Iraq war veteran on 2006 says he will run for the state Legislature this year. Republican Michael Fitzpatrick says he will run for the 142nd District seat now held by Democratic state Rep. Chris King. Fitzpatrick has been practicing law since he was defeated by Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy in the 2006 election. Murphy is being challenged this year by Republican candidate Tom Manion, whose son was killed in Iraq. Murphy opposes the war in Iraq and Manion supports it. Most of the congressional district is in Bucks County, in Philadelphia's northern suburbs.

UPDATE: School workers picket, meetings planned
DANVILLE, Pa. (AP) - School board members are preparing for a closed meeting prior to a 7 p.m. public meeting to discuss the strike by support workers in the Danville Area School District. The board has called off classes for a second day Tuesday as cafeteria workers, custodians and secretaries picket. The board
will consider whether to change its contract offer, then seek public input on issues including pay.
Superintendent Susan Bickford says the board may consider opening for half days to get children back in class without operating cafeterias. Workers in the Montour County district overwhelmingly rejected a
contract offer Saturday. The 137 members of the Professional Support Personnel at Danville have been without a new contract for two years. The school district serves 2,600 students.

Catholic school says city's STD video not in line with teachings
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A Roman Catholic school didn't like the results it got after inviting a Philadelphia public health nurse to speak about sexually transmitted diseases. Archdiocese officials say a video shown to Archbishop Ryan Catholic High School students last week had a message that contradicts church teachings. The video says that those who are going to be sexually active should use protection. But the church
teaches that abstinence is the only way. Officials say 50 students who attended three workshops will meet
with school officials to reaffirm the church's stance on abstinence. Archbishop Ryan High School has more than 2,000 students in ninth through 12th grades.

NEW: School board member accused of assault
SAXONBURG, Pa. (AP) - A school board member in Butler County is accused of assaulting a woman at his Saxonburg bar. Mark Rowe of Saxonburg and the woman were at his bar, Rowe's Tavern, early Friday morning. Police say Rowe refused to allow the woman to leave the bar and the two fell to the floor. Police accuse Rowe of then picking the woman up by her neck and striking her in the face. Rowe, who's also a lawyer, was sworn in last week to the South Butler County School Board. Rowe was arraigned Saturday on aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, unlawful restraint and other charges. He is free on $15,000 bond. A message left for Rowe was not immediately returned.

Police hope DNA will help ID infant found in '84 and mother
MILLVILLE, Pa. (AP) - A DNA profile has been made for a newborn whose decomposing remains were found 24 years ago in Columbia County. Fortunately for today's investigators, police saved a bone sample back in 1984, so there was no need to dig up the remains for a DNA test. The results have been logged in a national DNA database in hopes of someday finding a match. The infant's remains, with a portion of the umbilical cord still attached, were apparently mutilated by animals. They were found in a yard along the Austin Trail near Millville in July 1984. Authorities say the infant is believed to have been a boy.

Panel meets this week to discuss changes to Pa. dog law
ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) - A board appointed by Gov. Ed Rendell meets this week to discuss reforming the state dog law. The goal is to crack down on puppy mills and dirty kennels. The Dog Law Advisory Board is to meet in Harrisburg on Wednesday. The board plans to examine both a new draft dog law and revised administrative regulations put forth by Rendell's aides. The dog law covers the licensing of nearly 1 million dogs statewide, around 2,600 kennels, and the handling of strays and dangerous dogs. The regulations spell out how government employees will enforce the law. But animal organization leaders are worried that the Rendell
administration is confusing matters by changing administrative regulations and the dog law itself at the same time.

NEW: Pa. animal cruelty hot line launched
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Pennsylvania animal rescue officials hope a new toll-free hot line will make it easier for those who witness abuse of animals to get help. The Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to
Animals plans to officially launch its statewide toll-free line on Feb. 1. But Executive Director Howard Nelson says calls to the line are already being answered. The number is 1-866-601-SPCA. The nonprofit PSPCA is based in Philadelphia, with six satellite facilities across the state and a staff of 14 law enforcement agents with authority to enforce animal cruelty laws. Nelson says abuse cases have been increasing. The group
responded to 8,000 calls last year, up from 6,000 in 2006.

NEW: Pirates break ground Tuesday on Dominican Republic complex
PITTSBURGH (AP) - The Pittsburgh Pirates plan to break ground Tuesday on a training center in the Dominican Republic. It will be similar in appearance to the Pirates' minor league complex in Bradenton, Fla.
The site in El Toro will be the headquarters for the Pirates' Latin American operations. The Pirates have 20 scouts in nine countries in the region, including Mexico, Colombia, Nicaragua and Panama. The president of the Dominican Republic, Leonel Fernandez Reyna, is expected to attend the groundbreaking ceremony on a 46-acre site recently purchased by the Pirates. The complex is expected to be completed in about 18 months. The current one has only one field and no housing. The Pirates' Dominican Summer League team will be based at the training center.

NEW: South Phila. development proposal to be announced
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - An announcement is planned Tuesday about a development proposal for part of the South Philadelphia Sports Complex. The announcement is to be made by Comcast-Spectacor, the sports
division of Comcast Corp. Last week, Comcast-Spectacor's president said that the Wachovia Spectrum could be demolished to make room for an entertainment complex. The city owns the property but gave Comcast development rights when it built the neighboring Wachovia Center, which opened in 1996. The Spectrum once held big-league pro basketball and hockey games. It is now home to minor league hockey, indoor soccer,
concerts and other events. It's uncertain where the teams will go if they're evicted.

NEW: Former hospital to be razed for arena
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Demolition of the former St. Francis Central Hospital is expected to begin later this week or next week to make way for a new arena for the Pittsburgh Penguins. The city-county Sports and Exhibition Authority has already razed a dozen buildings to make room on the arena site. The 10-story hospital building is the largest and will make way for a 500-car garage. Officials say Michigan contractor Homrich Inc. is being paid $868,000 to raze the hospital. The new $290 million arena will replace Mellon Arena, where the
hockey team currently plays. The Penguins plan to open the new 18,500-seat arena in time for the 2010-11 season.

NEW: Gettysburg Elks close building
GETTYSBURG, Pa. (AP) - The Gettysburg Elks Lodge says the building it moved into in 2006 is closing its doors. Chairman Tom Ford of the Elks' house committee says that shuts down the social side of the century-old Gettysburg club. The group began with a meeting of about 150 members, most of them doctors and
lawyers, in 1906. Ford says the club was unable to pay for hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of renovations to the building and make the large mortgage payments on the property. Ford says he can't say the Gettysburg Elks will never reopen at another location, but at present it is not economically feasible.

NEW YORK (AP) - The Federal Reserve has cut a key interest rate by three-quarters of a percentage point. The move comes after a global stock sell-off fanned by growing fears of a U.S. recession. It's the biggest one-day move by the central bank in recent memory.

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) - "No Country for Old Men" and "There Will Be Blood" are the leaders with eight Academy Awards nominations each, including best picture and acting honors for Daniel Day-Lewis and Javier Bardem. However, it remains to be seen whether any actors will show up for the ceremony, because of the writers strike. Other nominees for best picture are "Atonement," "Juno," and "Michael Clayton."

WASHINGTON (AP) - Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is calling on Congress and the White House to agree quickly on an economic stimulus package. President Bush is set to meet with congressional leaders today to discuss ways to boost the economy.

BAGHDAD (AP) - A suicide attacker targeted an Iraqi high school today, just as students and teachers were arriving. Authorities say a bystander was killed, and more than 20 people were wounded.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Illegal immigrants in Michigan can no longer get driver's licenses, starting today. The new policy also keeps people who are legal but not permanent U.S. residents from getting licenses. A bill to let people on temporary work or student visas get licenses is pending in the state's legislature.


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